We woke up early and headed to the bus station in Lagos. Darcie’s bus left first – for Lisbon and then a flight out the next day back to San Diego. We hugged her goodbye and gave some farewell waves and then boarded our bus headed for Sevilla, Spain. With several stops it was a 4 hour bus ride from Lagos to Sevilla and I wish I could say that we explored Sevilla once we got there but we didn’t. We got to our amazing Airbnb (which was only $40/night) and bathed in the air-conditioning and super fast wifi – in fact I watched the last episodes of Girls and Big Little Lies! Drew uploaded tons of photos and called the wifi a ‘game changer’! But the next day we got up early and really had a chance to see Sevilla. As we headed to the tourist area the first thing that amazed us was the Sevilla Cathedral. We saw the bell tower first and after visiting Morocco we could definitely tell that this used to be a mosque and was since converted into a cathedral.
After taking in the spectacular views of the cathedral we headed over to the Real Alcazar which is the oldest royal palace still in use in Europe and of course a Unesco World Heritage Site. Although Wikipedia will tell you it was built by Moorish Muslim Kings at the site we were told that it was not. That it was actually built by a Catholic King who happened to be really great friends with the Moorish King that presided in the Alhambra in Granada and that they shared architects and artists. Either way the architecture is absolutely stunning and amazing.
In addition to the entrance ticket we also were able to book a ticket to see the Cuarto Real Alto or the upper level of the palace that is still in use today. We weren’t allowed to take pictures of it but it was absolutely amazing to see the old architecture coupled with the decorations and furnishings.
After that we wander around the gardens which were spectacular. In fact the oldest organ, clock and combined fountain that is still in operation resides there and if that wasn’t enough to get you excited it is where the Water Gardens of Dorne in Game of Thrones was filmed. Another interesting site there are the Baths of Maria de Padilla which were named after the kings mistress since she liked to spend her time there.
After the Real Alcazar we walked down to the Plaza de Espana which is the most unique plaza we have seen in Spain. It literally feels like you are being transported to the canals of Venice. The large and beautifully decorated buildings surround you and the canal with paddle boats seem to slow life down while the large fountain cools the entire area. I literally had to tear Drew away from photographing this area because I absolutely needed lunch at this point! But I hope you enjoy the photos!
We ended our day of site seeing by walking back along the Rio Guadalquivir which had these walkways covered in grapes – I swear it was straight out of a romantic novel. Along our walk we also go to see Torre del Oro, which is an old military watch site for Sevilla that was first constructed in the 13th century. It was an absolutely lovely day filled with lots of beauty!